No matter what generation you’re from or whatever your walk in life is, we all want to be successful in whatever we aim to do. That’s no secret.
The meaning and realization of success is different for everyone, and how we go about attaining success varies just the same. However, being able to achieve success boils down to one first step that everyone is required to take, whether or not we realize it or address it in a conscious fashion.
That one common denominator to success is this: believing that you can succeed!
But to believe in your success you have to first believe in yourself and your ability to do what you desire to do.
It’s not rocket science and for some, this would seem rather obvious. Yet, too many of us go through life withholding our greatest efforts due to the fact that we lack the belief that we can achieve whatever it is we truly desire.
With every goal there is a journey and a required number of steps that have to be taken in order to accomplish that goal. There is always a certain risk or even a number of risks that are involved with taking new steps to achieving new goals. That is where the factors of belief and faith come into play.
When we want to do something, most of us have the sense to calculate the risks involved and decide whether or not we are willing to take those risks. But for a lot of people, dare I say even most people, those decisions not to act are due to a fear of the risks involved and the belief that we might lose more than we can gain.
I’m not going to say that you won’t lose by simply believing that you won’t, but I am going to say that you can’t win if you don’t believe that you can. If you want to succeed at something, you have to believe that you can beat the risks you have to take, and to believe that you have to believe in yourself and your ability to do it. Your faith to act is highly dependent on your belief that you can.
For example, if something you want is out of reach, say on a high shelf, you can do one of two things. You can believe that you are not capable of finding a way to reach that object of your desire and therefore not try to get it, or you can believe that it is possible, and begin attempting to find a way.
I know small children who manage to get things their parents hide away on high shelves all the time, despite the fact that they are small and the shelves are many feet above them. They know they risk falling down if they should try to climb up, but that doesn’t stop them. Just like when I, being 5’2”, often climb up on chairs and books to reach things on high shelves too, I know I risk falling but I know I will get what I want if I keep trying to reach it. And yes, I might fall in the first few attempts. The only thing that stops me from trying again, if I do stop, is the fear of pain and injury from falling again.
Your goal in life is like that object on a high shelf, one that may seem way above your head. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t find a way to get up there. However, we can all look up at those high goals and think, I’m not tall enough, and end with that thought. We can limit our efforts and our imagination to find a way by simply believing that it is not possible, or that we don’t have the ability to do it.
If that child, who wants the thing on the high shelf, didn’t believe they could climb something to get there, they wouldn’t try to build something to climb up on, or attempt to grab hold of the lower shelves and pull themselves up. Their belief that they could get up to their goal object was rooted in their belief in themselves and that they had an ability that could get them there – they could climb.
This isn’t a conscious and calculated process for the young child – or for me either when I’m trying to reach that hidden box of chocolates in the top cupboard. But that belief is already there, so we just act on it. However, we don’t always have those beliefs built up. We don’t always get to subconsciously act on the faith that we can achieve a certain thing. That’s because most of us have spent years learning that “we can’t”.
Sometimes that kid climbing the shelf falls too hard or too many times and starts to build fear and learn doubt. Falling and making mistakes is one of the ways we learn not to try, because we start to question our depth of skill and our ability to accomplish. We begin to fear the pain that comes with falling, because, let’s be honest, pain sucks. It hurts. We avoid it at all costs when we can.
This is unfortunate, because sometimes our greatest goals lie just beyond our fears and the pain that we have to overcome. This is where believing in yourself becomes so important. You have to believe that you can overcome. Your desire has to be strong but your belief that you can has to be just as strong if not stronger than your fears of losing and feeling pain.
Doubt and fear are the greatest obstacles to our success. They are the enemies in the battle of our minds. We may fall and stumble in our attempts to achieve success in our lives, but doubt and fear is what will stop you altogether from trying. In order to defeat that doubt and fear, you have to simply believe that you are capable, that you deserve to try and that you have the ability to climb to your success. Even when you fall, you have to believe that you can get back up and try again.
Never give room in your mind to the voice of doubt or fear. Keep in mind that sometimes that voice doesn’t just come from bad experiences. In fact, even before we try and fail, we often fail to try because we listen to others who input their own doubts and fears into us. These voices often come in the form of “friendly” advice and people who may seem to mean well. But they can plant seeds of doubt and fear as well, especially when these voices reason with you as to why you “can’t” accomplish something.
But what others have to say about what you can do is irrelevant compared to what you believe in your heart. You are the master of your fate and you can do amazing things once you first believe that you can. Your belief in yourself matters more and you have to hang on to that harder than you hold on to the fears and doubts you have, regardless of where they came from.
Remember, there will always be many reasons why something cannot be done and ways that something can fail. The only way for anything to succeed though always starts with one common factor, and that is your belief in yourself and your ability to accomplish. You have to believe that you can take the steps as they come, no matter what they may be, and never lose faith that you can handle whatever comes your way.
If you can do that, you will defeat anything and you will eventually win. You just have to keep climbing, no matter what happens and no matter what anyone has to say.
Check out my vlog to hear more on the subject.